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Place of birth – Sadova Vyshnia, Lviv oblast.

Date of birth – 27 February 1930

Place of interview – Toronto, ON

Date of interview – 29 June 2010

ZT – Almost half the students were Jews. One thing that united me with them was that they couldn’t take part in the religion classes, and because of the fact that I was a Greek Catholic, I also couldn’t take part. So during those lessons, I played outside with my Jewish friends. I felt that discrimination.

Interviewer – During the interwar period, what were the relations like between Jews, and, in your city, the mostly Polish population? Was there tension?

ZT – During Polish times, I don’t remember, nor did I hear from my parents, that Jews were persecuted. They lived separately, in a different part of town. We lived in the Polish part of town, and there was never a Jewish population there. They lived, I don’t know if you can call it a ghetto, it wasn’t called a ghetto back then.

I remember, when I was in Yaroslav, where I went to high school, my father got a job in Sambir, in Lviv oblast, which was where he was from. In the meantime, my parents had moved to Bilhorai, in Kholm province, and from there he got a job in Sambir. When they were moving, this was the first time I saw my parents helping Jews. He came from Bilhorai to pick us up in Yaroslav, and we traveled in a truck, in the back. There were two people there. Instead of going to Sambir, to the east, he went to Novi Sanchi, to the west, about 80 km [out of the way], and those people got out there. I know they were Jewish.

Interviewer – When was this?

ZT – This was in 1943.

Interviewer – Your father came to Yaroslav to pick you up?

ZT – To pick us up, and those people were there in the back, with the furniture. And he took them to Noviy Sanchi, in the other direction.

Interviewer – Did you talk to them?

ZT – They didn’t want to talk. We tried to talk to them, but they didn’t want to say anything, probably because they didn’t want us to know they were Jewish.

Interviewer – Did you know them before?

ZT – No, I didn’t know them.

Interviewer – And they didn’t tell you their names?

ZT – No.

Interviewer – You arrived in Noviy Sanchy

ZT – We arrived in Noviy Sanchy, they thanked my father, and left.

Interviewer – Did you ask your father who they were?

ZT – We didn’t ask our father, because we could sense that it was a secret, and we felt that it wouldn’t be good to ask our father who they were.

When we were in Sambir, we had a plot of land on a communal field, which had a small hut. And one day my parents hired a “guard.” And that guard slept there, I’m not sure, maybe lived there as well, in that hut. In the late evening, he would come to our house, it was dark, around 10 or 11, I remember, and [my mother] gave him dinner. When he was leaving, my mother would give him some food in a bag. After some time, he stopped coming, and then my mother told me that this guard was a Jew, and a friend of my father’s. That was one instance of which I was aware.

A second instance was, in the evenings, a woman would come to our house, and my mother would give her quite a bit of food, which she would take with her. Later, my mother told me that this woman was Jewish, who lived in the ghetto, which was already fenced off. So my mother helped her in this way. Whether she was a friend [of my mother’s], I don’t know.

excerpt from the Interview with Zenon Tatarsky
Ukrainian  Jewish  Relations

The interviews can be accessed at the UCRDC. Please contact us office@ucrdc.org

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